Thursday, December 19, 2013
Ian Watkins, frontman of Welsh rock group Lostprophets, was sentenced to 29 years in prison yesterday for his involvement in a series of sex-related offences involving children. He pleaded guilty to offences including attempted rape and sexual assault, conspiracy to rape a child, sexual assault of a child, possession of indecent images of children, and possession of an extreme pornographic image involving sex with an animal.
Watkins had pleaded guilty to the offences along with two others, the mothers of two of the children he abused. The two women — who are being kept anonymous to protect the identity of their children — were jailed for 14 and 17 years respectively.
Watkins is to be eligible for release after two-thirds of his prison sentence, and is to spend six years on licence.
Mr Justice Royce, in his sentencing remarks, said the actions of the defendants "plunged new depths of depravity". He also said: "Any decent person looking at and listening to the material here will experience shock; revulsion; anger and incredulity."
The sentencing remarks detail text messages sent between Watkins and one of the mothers planning to abuse children, as well as giving the infant in their care methyl amphetamines. The evidence, according to the judge, "is a dreadful catalogue of abuse of a previously innocent boy to satisfy your own interests and lusts." In other communications, Watkins planned to turn the life of the other defendant's child into "a life of filth".
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle from the South Wales Police said investigating Watkins' actions exposed him to "the most disturbing child abuse evidence" of his police career.
Following his guilty plea but before his sentencing, Watkins discussed his sentencing with a friend via telephone. The singer told his friend: "I'm going to put a statement on [December] 18th now just to say it was megalolz, I don't know what everyone is getting so freaked out about." Lolz is a variant form of LOL — laugh out loud.
He also told his friend: "You know I plead guilty just to avoid a trial, not realising 'Hang on, that makes me look a bit guilty' but I would never harm anybody." Watkins' "mega lolz" comment was the front page story today in the taboid newspaper The Sun.
Investigation into Watkins' activities continue, as do attempts to seek more possible victims. There are also investigations going on by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into how police failed to pick up on Watkins' activities before 2012.
== Sources ==
Andy McFarlane. "Ian Watkins and Ronnie Biggs assessed by press" — BBC News Online, December 19, 2013
"Lostprophets' Ian Watkins sentenced to 35 years over child sex offences" — BBC News Online, December 18, 2013
Stefan Rhys. "Ian Watkins: Lostprophets singer describes his child sex abuse as 'megalolz'" — Wales Online, December 18, 2013
The Honourable Mr Justice Royce. "Case No: 62CA1726112" — Judiciary of England and Wales, December 18, 2013